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Whether you’re a resident, business, or advocate, there are many ways you can get involved in recycling efforts in Texas. Everyone’s first step to take care of Texas is to learn about ways to get involved. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best recycling resources and organizations that focus on serving Texas.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the environmental agency for the state. The agency focuses mostly on promoting clean air and water and the safe management of waste in Texas. It also serves as a watchdog for the protection of the state’s natural resources and enforces compliance with the state’s environmental laws. If you have a business or plan on starting one, you may have to acquire permits or licenses from TCEQ. Their website also has an extensive list of recycling resources for individuals and businesses.
Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the TCEQ that provides helpful information on Texas’ successes in environmental protection and encourages all Texans to: help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, reduce waste, and save a little money in the process.
This campaign raises awareness about how each of us can make our state a better place to live, work, and play. Explore their website to find simple ways to increase recycling in your daily life, order free publications and educational materials for kids and adults, and get involved in the Texas recycling community. This is one of the better recycling resources for residents.
State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase recycling rates in Texas. STAR builds and supports end-markets by coordinating stakeholders to find common ground through information sharing and partnerships that get recyclable materials to market. Through data-driven advocacy, they shape and define the future of materials management by facilitating discussions that leads to action.
They offer memberships to businesses, organizations, and individuals. Becoming a member is one of the best ways to network with many of the key stakeholders involved in recycling and reuse across the state. You can also get involved by joining your local STAR chapter. STAR also has several councils that you can serve on such as the Product Stewardship Council and Reuse Council.
The Texas Association of RC&D Areas, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves 23 councils throughout the state. Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) is a unique program that is led by local volunteer councils that help people care for and protect their natural resources in a way that improves the local economy, environment, and living standards. RC&D is based on the assumption that local citizens with assistance, can develop and carry out an action-oriented plan for the social, economic, and environmental enrichment of their communities.
The RC&D Councils direct the program at the local level. They provide a focal point of local leadership, bring together private citizens, and local, state, and federal agencies to improve economic, social, and environmental well-being. Nearly half of the council members are locally elected officials such as mayors, judges, or commissioners. If you’re looking to get involved in your local community, you should look into joining your local council.
Cooperative Teamwork & Recycling Assistance (CTRA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide cooperative marketing of recyclable commodities, promote the development of end-markets for recyclables in Texas, and promote education about recycling. CTRA provides technical assistance to communities or groups interested in recycling. They serves as a liaison between the public and private sector by negotiating contracts with haulers and end-markets at competitive prices. CTRA charges no membership dues or fees; the only charge is a 10% administrative fee on all recyclable sales. If you’re looking to buy or sell recyclables in Texas, the CTRA is an essential recycling resource.
Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) is a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to beautifying and improving community environments. Through programming and education, they address the areas of litter mitigation, community beautification and waste reduction. They work with more than 390 affiliate communities, government agencies, businesses, civic groups, and volunteers to ensure that every Texan has the opportunity to make Texas the cleanest state in the nation. You can find your nearest KTB affiliate by visiting their website.
The Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization and is one of the premier environmental advocacy entities in Texas. Through their campaigns, they fight to protect the environment of Texas and encourage recycling and zero waste initiatives. If you’re an environmental advocate, you might want to visit their site and learn about their current campaigns and how you can get involved.
Zero Waste Alliance
Zero Waste Alliance is a coalition of recycling advocates, forward-thinking business leaders, and community members who are working to rethink the way we manage and dispose of valuable resources. Through grassroots public education and advocacy, they contribute to practices and innovations that will eventually reduce the waste sent to landfills by 90%. Although there is currently no statewide initiative, there are three local alliances: Dallas Fort-Worth, Central Texas, and Austin.
The Resource Exchange Network for Eliminating Waste (RENEW) is a free materials-exchange network established by the Texas Legislature in 1987 to promote the reuse or recycling of industrial wastes. The network is a marketing channel for industries, businesses, and governmental units who wish to sell surplus materials, by-products, and wastes to those who will reclaim or reuse them. RENEW listings for materials online is a cooperative effort between the TCEQ and the Zero Waste Network.
Many municipalities in Texas also have their own localized resources for recycling. Your city’s waste management or recycling department should be able to inform you about all the recycling programs that exist in their jurisdiction. Some cities also provide free assessments to businesses that can help increase recycling rates and reduce garbage bills. Several cities also have online databases that connect residents and businesses to recycling centers. Contacting your municipality is a great way to begin your recycling journey.
One example of a local database:
Time to Recycle is a website designed for easy access to recycling programs available in the North Central Texas region. The goal of this website is to increase awareness of the benefits of recycling and encourage all citizens in the region to participate in local recycling programs. This website was developed and is maintained by the North Central Texas Council of Governments in cooperation with the Regional Recycling Coordinators Roundtable.
Help Improve Our Texas Recycling Resources List
Know of other recycling resources we should share or see some outdated information. Please contact us! Together, we can build the best recycling resource for Texas.
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